There are many strange elements in the current debate over illegal immigration, but none stranger than the general failure to discuss the role of
Are millions of Mexican citizens still trying to cross the
Not any more. In terms of the economy,
The Mexican unemployment rate is currently below 5 percent. North of the border, it remains stuck at over 7 percent for the 53rd consecutive month of the Obama presidency. The American gross domestic product has been growing at a rate of less than 2 percent annually. In contrast, a booming
Is elemental hunger forcing millions of Mexicans to flee north, as it may have in the past?
Not necessarily. According to a recent United Nations study, an estimated 70 percent of
Far from it.
Until 2011, when it passed reforms,
In Mexico, legal immigration is aimed at privileging new arrivals who have skill sets that will aid the Mexican economy and, according to the country’s immigration law, who have the “necessary funds for their sustenance” — while denying entry to those who are not healthy or would upset the “equilibrium of the national demographics.” Translated, this apparently means that
In 2005, the Mexican government published a Guide for the Mexican Migrant — in comic-book form. The pictographic manual instructed the country’s own citizens on how best to cross illegally into, and stay within, the
Remittances from America fill a void that the Mexican government has created by not extending the sort of housing, education, or welfare help to its own citizens that America provides to foreign residents.
In truth, many thousands of Mexicans flee northward not necessarily because there are no jobs at home, or because they are starving there.
Indigenous people make up a large part of the most recent wave of Mexican arrivals. Those who leave provinces like
People should be a nation’s greatest resource. Fairly or not,
The current problem for
— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the